It’s predicted the spread of 5G connectivity onto a global scale will happen within the next five years, as the increasingly connected world will demand the increased bandwidth provided by the connectivity. As this shift occurs, traditional coaxial or copper-core cables will be replaced with faster and more reliable fiber networks. Network providers should prepare to install new fiber systems and to upgrade and maintain existing fiber infrastructures. To maintain a working fiber network, service providers must implement proper fiber-cleaning procedures to ensure network performance and reliability.
Why You Should Clean Your Fiber Infrastructure
Ensuring that all connections and splices in your fiber network are clean is crucial for avoiding several problems, including:
- Insertion loss, or a weakened signal
- Back reflection, or when a signal is diverted back to its source
- A total system shutdown
5G connectivity cannot be sustained on a network that is prone to any of those problems, because every bit of power is necessary for optimum performance.
Clean New Fiber Cables
Jumpers and patch cords, even if bought directly from the factory, do not guarantee cleanliness. End caps are often not cleaned before packaging, so dust and other leftover debris may be trapped inside. There are several ways cables can experience wear while traveling from the factory to the installation, so it is crucial that installers thoroughly clean both ends of the connector pair before they are mated, to ensure clean fiber connections.
Choose the Right Cleaning Fluid
Fiber industry organizations recommend “wet/dry” cleaning as the most effective method for cleaning fiber endfaces. Water and isopropyl alcohol are common choices, but they are difficult to keep uncontaminated. The best option for ensuring 5G connectivity is to clean the endfaces with engineered optical-grade cleaning fluid for fiber-optic connectors. These fluids are fast-drying, static-dissipative, and are sold in hermetically sealed packaging.
Remember to Inspect
Fiber-optic contamination is minuscule, so it can only be seen with an inspection microscope. The best method for catching contamination is by using the “inspect, clean, inspect” process. Inspect the piece for contamination, clean the endfaces, and then inspect again to ensure the debris is gone.
By practicing these cleaning tasks now, you can ensure that your current and future fiber-optic networks will be ready to usher in the era of widespread 5G connectivity.
Get in Touch with FiberPlus
FiberPlus has been providing data communication solutions for over 25 years in the Mid Atlantic Region for a number of different markets. What began as a cable installation company for Local Area Networks has grown into a leading provider of innovative technology solutions improving the way our customers communicate and keeping them secure. Our solutions now include:
- Structured Cabling (Fiberoptic, Copper and Coax for inside and outside plant networks)
- Electronic Security Systems (Access Control & CCTV Solutions)
- Wireless Access Point installations
- Public Safety DAS – Emergency Call Stations
- Audio/Video Services (Intercoms and Display Monitors)
- Support Services
- Specialty Systems
- Design/Build Services
FiberPlus promises the communities in which we serve that we will continue to expand and evolve as new technology is introduced within the telecommunications industry.
Have any questions? Interested in one of our services? Call FiberPlus today 800-394-3301, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our contact page. Our offices are located in the Washington, DC metro area and Richmond, VA. In Pennsylvania, please call Pennsylvania Networks, Inc. at 814-259-3999.